November 2007

Star Fleet Fiction Continued

Rescue On Roon

"Yes, sir," the corporal gestured, "that one, the first one we took out when we got down here."

"Excellent," the commander replied. "What are these?" he gestured at the bag and crate.

"Contraband that Stulak said we needed as evidence," Kilrathie replied. "That bag is full of some kind of weeds, and this box is full of trans-stators." Grissom whistled. Trans-stators could be used in any number of advanced devices, and were about 50 years ahead of Roon's current technology. Judging from the stacks of boxes he had seen, Grissom knew there must be thousands of these devices in this basement.

Grissom's reflection was ended when Daneric-Tren climbed out of the air shaft.

"On the way down, I saw something odd," he said, "and went back to check. It's a jamming field generator, designed to block the elevator shaft and ventilation shaft and prevent anyone from using a transporter."

"Did you disarm it?"

"No," Daneric-Tren said, "when I was starting to, a metal plate slammed down on my head, knocking my communicator off." He held up the device, which was obviously broken. "That was just about the time those alarms went off topside. Apparently, it's some backup device to lock down the ventilation shaft. I guess the elevator locks itself."

"Explosives?" Kilrathie asked.

"Not going to work," Daneric answered, "the field is above the metal plate, and we don't have enough explosives to blast through the bulkheads without collapsing the whole shaft."

"So we're trapped?" Plemmons wailed. "Good lord, what kind of idiot rescue team are you people? You mean you didn't leave a whole company of Marines guarding the way out of this place? What morons!"

"Shut up," Grissom barked. "We're not done yet."

"How far up?" Kilrathie asked Daneric-Tren.

"About ten meters."

"Give me a boost up through the hatch of that elevator car," Kilrathie said, pulling a grenade from his vest, "I'll open the door for us." With Daneric-Tren's help, Kilrathie got his torso up through the hatch. Standing on the engineer's shoulders, he steadied himself and pulled the pin on the grenade, dialing the fuze as he did so. Placing his left hand on the hatch itself, he lofted the grenade straight up and, in the same motion, stepped off of the engineer's shoulders, allowing himself to fall. His weight pulled the hatch shut just as the grenade went off.

"Tasmania, this is Grissom, can you hear me?"

"Loud and clear, Commander," the technician answered. "What's your situation?"

"We're going to get everybody into the elevator car. There will be the six of us and three others, plus some cargo. Wide field on the transporter."

"Ready when you are, Commander."

"Stand by," Grissom advised. "Where is Stulak?"

"Here, sir," the Vulcan said as he rounded the corner, a waste bin full of computer disks in one hand and the collar of N'Korl's jacket in the other. The accountant was alternately sobbing and screaming.

"Everybody into the car, now!" Grissom ordered. This part had been covered in the rehearsals, but there were too many options, and having three passengers and a load of baggage wasn't one of them. It took some doing to make everything fit, and with both Plemmons complaining and N'Korls wailing, it took longer than it should have. An explosion erupted far above them, and pieces of metal and concrete began to pound the roof of the elevator car.

"Energize!" Grissom ordered.

"Negative," the ship's technician replied. "I can't get a good lock on your signal. Too much radiation."

Kilrathie had to shove Plemmons aside to reach the still dazed Lieutenant Yahnke, but he thrust his hands into the Lieutenant's backpack and was obviously trying to work something. "Beacon on!" Kilrathie announced.

"Good lock," the ship's technician said from the earpieces, "energizing." The thud of a grenade landing on the roof of the elevator car was the last sound the team heard on Roon.

Two Days Later, Conference Room, Light Cruiser USS Tasmania, in orbit above Roon

"The local police are quite pleased with the evidence you collected," the ambassador said. "By the time they got into the underground complex, everything had been destroyed, but with samples of the original material, and Federation technology, they were able to prove conclusively what had been there."

"Excellent," the Captain said. "The entire family is under arrest, I take it?"

"Most of them," the Ambassador said. "The Roon government is quite distressed to hear that their electronics industry almost became obsolete overnight. And they were almost as upset to hear that common weeds on their planet are a powerful narcotic for Rigelians. We had been wondering where that new drug came from. Now we know."

"And we can stop it," the Captain responded.

"Are your personnel recovering?" the Ambassador asked, "I know that doing a mission without causing casualties can mean taking heavier losses."

"Lieutenant Yahnke will be fine," the Captain explained. "Everything else was just strains and bruises."

"Then we were lucky," the Ambassador said. "They will be rewarded?"

"Commendations for everyone," the Captain said, "a Bronze Star and a wound badge for the Lieutenant, a command medal for Grissom. The commendations will be written up as a rescue, not combat, as you requested."

The Ambassador nodded his thanks.

"And the trade deal?" the Captain asked.

"Will proceed in all good time," the Ambassador said. "There are issues to be resolved, and diplomacy demands patience. My staff is working through the problems.

"By the way, one of my staff has asked if he could speak with Private Dellik."

"I don't need to ask which member of your staff that was, do I?" the Captain replied with a strained smile.

"It's better if you don't," the Ambassador said, "but I think I can get her off of your ship. It seems that my Marine detachment can use another guard."

"I would be grateful," the Captain said, "to your staff member."

"I think he will consider it an even trade."HHH